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Music and tech news roundup

May 4, 2009

canada-pirate

Music and technology news from around the Internet:

Canada is a nation of pirates. Arrr! The US Trade Representatives, who track intellectual property protections among US trading partners, elevated Canada from their ‘watch list’ to the ‘priority watch list’ last week, which puts it alongside China, Russia, and India. They only presented data for software piracy (not music or movies), on which Canada is at the bottom of the list of pirates. I’d guess that Canada got added to the super bad guys list because they didn’t pass a bill that would be Canadian equivalent of the DMCA, much like it got added to the list of countries whose citizens you shouldn’t talk to if you do DARPA or DoD-funded research right after Canadians declined to send troops to Iraq – never mind the larger picture. [via Ars Technica, from whence came the fantastic illustration above]

MGMT settles lawsuit against Sarkozy’s party. Speaking of piracy, MGMT sued French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s political party, the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), for using their song, “Kids” at rallies and on videos on the UMP website. MGMT weren’t offended by them using to song per se, but more by its unauthorized use by the UMP, who are pushing a new anti-piracy bill, with stricter penalties for downloading and filesharing. MGMT settled with the party, for somewhere in the ballpark of €30K, which they plan to donate to artists’ rights groups. [via CHARTAttack]

Best Buy to start carrying vinyl. Best Buy, which is the third-largest music-seller after iTunes and Wal-Mart, has decided to start carrying vinyl records at all its stores after a 100-store pilot project proved successful. They’re going to carry a pretty small selection at each store – about 200 albums, versus about 8000 CDs – but this is definitely seen as a net win by the music industry. A number of record companies have started re-releasing (or are gearing up to re-release) LPs, complete with original artwork and packaging. While they cost more to produce, and have lower margins than CDs, sales of vinyl are growing – pretty much the only bright spot in the world of physical music. [New York Post]

Home boozing is killing music. The Guardian reports that revenues from public performance of music in UK pubs and clubs fell for the first time ever, by about 2%. This corresponds with a drop in beer volume sales, and has been attributed to more people staying home and drinking, rather than spending money in pubs. Wonder if we’ll see something similar in the US soon. [via Current]

Richie Hawtin tweets track info while DJ’ing. Richie Hawtin has started using a custom version of Traktor Pro mixing software to automatically send out track information to Twitter while he’s onstage (you can take a look here). While this is obviously a boon to the kind of music nerds who want to know every track that’s getting played (er, guilty as charged), it’s a great way for lesser-known labels and songs to be identified, and may eventually lead to a better way for them to be compensated for performance rights. [via The Stranger]

MP3: MGMT – Kids [buy]

One comment

  1. As much as I hate Best Buy, the more places that sell vinyl the better I think.



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